NCL Service Charge Increase.

Norwegian Cruise Line is hiking its daily service charge from $12 to $12.95 per person for categories up to mini-suite, effective for sailings beginning March 1.

The suite category charge is going to $14.95 per person, per day. Norwegian noted suite passengers get the additional services of a concierge, butler and dedicated wait staff. (However, a tipping note on the cruise line’s website suggests that more may be expected—’for guests using concierge and butler services, we recommend they consider offering a gratuity commensurate with services rendered.’- see below for Norwegians tipping note)

Passengers who’ve already booked a cruise and are sailing after March 1, or who plan to book a cruise now through Feb. 28, can choose to pre–pay their service charges at the current rate by Feb. 28. Those with existing cruise reservations who have already pre–paid their service charges at the current rate will not be affected.

Norwegian said it last adjusted the service charge in 2009.

Tipping Note,

What about Tipping?
Guests should not feel obliged to offer a gratuity for good service. However, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile,” and so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities entirely at the discretion of our guests who wish to acknowledge particular staff members for exceptional or outstanding service. In other words, there is genuinely no need to tip but you should feel free to do so if you have a desire to acknowledge particular individuals.
Also, certain staff positions provide service on an individual basis to only some guests. We encourage those guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. For example, for guests purchasing bar drinks the recommended gratuity is 15 percent. For guests purchasing spa treatments the recommended gratuity is 18 percent. Similarly, for guests using concierge and butler services, we recommend they consider offering a gratuity commensurate with services rendered.

How the cruise lines compare

Cruise line  Suggested tip for adults (per night) 
Carnival Cruise Lines £7.30
Celebrity Cruises £7.30 (£7.60 for AquaClass and Concierge Class cabins; £9.50 for suites)
Costa Cruises £6 in Europe; £7 for Caribbean cruises
Cunard Britannia category cabins £7; Grills category suites £8.25 (increasing to £7.30 and £8.60 from April 2013)
Cruise & Maritime Voyages £5; £4 (over 16 nights)
Disney Cruise Line £23 (3 nights); £30.50 (4 nights); £53.40 (7 nights)
Fred Olsen £4
Holland America £7.30; £7.60 for suites
MSC Cruises £6 (8 nights in Europe); £5.15 (over 9 nights in Europe)
Noble Caledonia Included on Island Sky and Caledonia Sky. Varies depending on cruise line for other cruises booked through Noble Caledonia
Norwegian Cruise Line £7.60
Oceania Cruises £9.20; £13 suites with butler
P&O Cruises £3.10 (increasing to £3.50 From March 28 to April 24)
Princess Cruises £7.30; £7.60 for mini suites and suites
Royal Caribbean £7.40; £8.80 (Grand Suite or above)

as of February 2013, as stated on the Times guide to gratuities and tips

 

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